Is your business dealing with the root cause of your issues? Or is it merely addressing the symptoms?

There are many reasons clients come to us, but one of the most frequent is their businesses have problems. They know of the issues and have attempted to deal with them, yet they persist. We can help them because an outside-looking-in perspective is free of cultural biases and ingrown points of view. Further, we understand what makes an excellent strategic plan.

There are often comparisons made between business health and the human condition. Both grow, both get sick, and both can experience death. But with the proper diagnosis, a treatment plan is created, and life sustained. At KM Consulting, we use this medical perspective to fix sick or broken organizations. We think of it as a business MRI.

All too often, we find businesses focus only on the surface of their operations. Instead of searching for the real problem, they fix the symptoms.

Our process, which we tailor to each client’s situation, involves a series of interviews. We ask many probing questions to assess opportunities and solutions, so we don’t just accept pat answers or the status quo. Because, we understand what makes an excellent strategic plan.

Some of the areas we explore include looking forward at:

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Where do you want the business to be in one year, from various aspects, including revenue –

  • Where does it come from
  • Does it come from where your think it does?
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P&L Improvement

  • Determine how to cut costs and increase revenue
  • Identify gaps in your savings and expenses
  • Chart all sources of business income
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Quality Control

  • Establish better processes
  • Address the causes of injury and decrease errors
  • Ensure managers have sufficient delegation, communication & leadership skills
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Human Resources

  • When is the right time to hire
  • How to identify the benefits of hiring the right staff

The responses are gathered and organized, and we create a customized plan from that goal to an actionable strategic plan (more on that shortly).

A Mini Case Study

A manufacturing client complained that he worked too much and made too little. His solution: raise prices.

We asked our client about the cost of the inputs to his business, from SG&A to materials, everything that impacted his cost of goods sold. His understanding of the costs was vague; he also had only a vague idea of what his competitors were charging. It turned out he was charging almost double his competitors because he was overpaying for raw materials.

Instead of raising prices, we explored expanding his supplier base. Had this client merely gone through with his initial idea of raising prices, he would have been treating only the symptom and probably only made his business sicker. Instead, identifying opportunities within the supplier community offering net purchase allowances, COOP advertising, and special pricing incentives allowed the client’s business to improve its gross margins immediately.

What makes an excellent strategic plan? Understanding issues like those indicated here are baked into the strategic plan, ensuring future control and understanding.

How do we find the root cause of your issues?

The core of our approach is the strategic planning process. We base our consulting on the owner’s vision to help create a roadmap of the tactics that will promote the achievement of their vision. Like a magnet organizes metal filings, we help businesses manage toward a common goal. We understand what makes an excellent strategic plan, and it’s proven value.

Our process boils down to two steps:

  1. Develop a strategic plan.
  2. Act on it.

Business Plan vs. Strategic Plan

Many business people are familiar with the concept of a business plan. However, a business plan is primarily for startups and new companies. The founders of a company create a business plan to secure funding from traditional banking institutions. Such a plan may contain sections on operations, marketing, hiring, and such, but these plans often sit on a shelf after the funding is acquired.

On the other hand, a strategic plan benefits existing businesses. A strategic plan not only helps clarify the business’s long-term goals, allowing it to operate effectively. It is a conceptual roadmap for the company’s long-term future and the achievement of the owners’ vision for starting the business in the first place.

What Makes an Excellent Strategic Plan?

A strategic plan will address the following:

  • Vision
  • Values
  • Goals
  • Plan of Action

Your vision is your overarching picture of where you want to go. To run a successful business, you must ask yourself what you want your company to look like in one year, in five years, and 10.

Creating a strategic plan

A strategic plan doesn’t come out of a vacuum. In our next segment, which will be published next week, we’ll get into the tools to craft and execute a strategic plan. Then we will explain how this approach helps you cure the root of your problem.

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